Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Chicanas in Charge: Texas Women in the Electoral Arena

Press Release January 23, 2007
Contact: Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez
469 867 8188 mobile

January 31, 2007 (Wednesday) beginning at 2:30p at the Wyndham Hotel Dallas North (across from the Galeria) the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) will hold its 32nd Annual conference. The kick-off event is a panel discussion with some of the Texas women profiled in a new publication, Chicanas in Charge: Texas Women in the Electoral Arena. Anticipated to attend are Gloria De Leon, Rose Herrera, Diana Flores, Socorro Medina, Trini Gamez, Anita Martinez, Alma Canales, Linda Yañez, Lena Levario, and Elvira Reyna. These women will discuss their paths to power and take questions from the audience. A reception will follow. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the women and co-authors. Co-authors are Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas-Arlington; Sonia Noyola, doctoral student University of Texas-Austin; and, Michelle Melendez, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
The event is free to the public. The conference program does require a registration fee.

Contact Dr. Gutierrez for a jpeg file of the book cover which features Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.


Walnut Hill, CA: AltaMira Press, 2007.

List of the 25 women profiled in the book:

PART I ADELITAS: The Warrior Trailblazers

OLGA RAMOS PENA*Unofficial campaign organizer for Alberto A. Peña, Jr., her spouse, in San Antonio during several decades. Leader of the Bexar County Democratic Women.

ANITA N. MARTINEZ---First Mexican American woman elected to the Dallas City Council. Served in appointed capacities for the White House and local entities.

VIRGINIA MUZQUIZ---First Chicana candidate for State Representative, Democrat in 1964. First Mexican American woman candidate for city council of Crystal City, Texas. First Mexican American woman elected County Clerk, Raza Unida Party, Zavala County, Texas in 1974.

ALICIA CHACON---First Chicana elected to various posts in El Paso County: school board, city council, County Judge, Democrat; appointed to regional Small Business Administration post; and later headed United Way of El Paso.

ROSA TIJERINA and MARIA ESCOBAR---Daughter and wife, respectively of Land Recovery Movement (Southwest) Reies Lopez Tijerina, that performed support roles for him, the Alianza de Pueblos Libres. Rosa led the Tierra Amarilla Courthouse Raid and was arrested for that event. Both live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

PART II The Chicano Movement Activists

ALMA CANALES---First Chicana to run for Lt. Governor, Raza Unida Party.

LINDA REYNA YANEZ---First Chicana elected to the Rio Grande Valley’s Court of Appeals. First Chicana to run for Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Democrat.

IRMA MIRELES---First Chicana elected to the San Antonio River Authority, multi-county district. Raza Unida Party official and leader from Bexar County.

ROSIE CASTRO---Student leader, Raza Unida Party leader, candidate for local office in San Antonio. Mother of current State Representative Joaquin Castro and former city council member Julian Castro.

SEVERITA LARA---Student leader of Crystal City Walkout of 1969. Mayor of Crystal City, Texas and candidate for County Judge, Democrat.

MARIA JIMENEZ---Student leader, University of Houston, first Chicana to run for State Representative, Raza Unida Party, Harris County. Immigrant rights activist currently.

Part III Puentes y Lazos: The Hispanic Connectors

HILDA TAGLE---Officeholder by election and appointment to various judicial posts in Nueces County (Corpus Christi), Democrat. First Chicana appointed federal judge in the state to the Southern District (Brownsville division).

ELVIRA REYNA---First Hispanic woman elected to House of Representatives as Republican (Mesquite).

LETICIA SAN MIGUEL VAN DE PUTTE---Pharmacist turned politician and elected State Representative from Bexar County (San Antonio), later elected as State Senator, Democrat.

SOCORRO "COCO" MEDINA---First Chicana to run for County Commissioner in Amarillo, Democrat. Former owner operator of Spanish language radio.

MARIA ANTONIETTA BERRIOZABAL---Elected city council member in San Antonio, later ran for Mayor and Congress.

TRINI GAMEZ---First Chicana to run for County Judge in Deaf Smith County (Hereford), Democrat. Former Texas Rural Legal Aid staffer and plaintiff in single-member litigation.

Part IV Twenty-first -century Entorchas/Torchbearers

NORMA CHAVEZ---Elected State Representative from El Paso, first Chicana Democrat. Leader of Mexican American Democrats in El Paso.

DIANA FLORES---First Chicana elected to the Dallas County Community College District as Trustee. Leader of re-districting initiatives, Primera Voz, and MEGAVOTO.

GLORIA DE LEON---Co-Founder, National Hispanic Institute. Recruiter and trainer of countless young Hispanic leaders across the nation.

LENA LEVARIO---First Chicana appointed to state district court bench in Dallas County. Elected to state district criminal court bench in 2006, Democrat.

ELFIDA MARQUEZ GUTIERREZ---Elected to El Paso County Community College District as Trustee. School administrator.

ROSE HERRERA---First Hispanic woman elected to Fort Worth Independent School District as Trustee. Leader of state Mexican American Democrats.

NORMA VILLARREAL RAMIREZ---First Chicana elected County Judge in Zapata County, Democrat. Former staff person with Texas Rural Legal Aid.

GUADALUPE "LUPE" VALDEZ---First Hispanic woman elected Sheriff in Texas, Dallas County in 2004.

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